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The earliest deck known of this type is from , but such positioning did not become widespread until reintroduced by Hart in , together with the knave-to-jack change. Books of card games published in the third quarter of the 19th century still referred to the "knave" however, a term that is still recognized in the United Kingdom. Note the exclamation by Estella in Charles Dickens 's novel Great Expectations : "He calls the knaves, jacks, this boy!

In the English pattern, [2] the jack and the other face cards represent no one in particular, [3] in contrast to the historical French practice, in which each court card is said to represent a particular historical or mythological personage. The valets in the Paris pattern have traditionally been associated with such figures as Ogier the Dane a knight of Charlemagne and legendary hero of the chansons de geste for the jack of spades; [4] La Hire French warrior for the Jack of Hearts; Hector mythological hero of the Iliad for the jack of diamonds; and Lancelot or Judas Maccabeus for the jack of clubs.

In some southern Italian decks, there are androgynous knaves that are sometimes referred to as maids. In the Sicilian Tarot deck, the knaves are unambiguously female and are also known as maids. This pack may have been influenced by the obsolete Portuguese deck which also had female knaves.

The modern Mexican pattern also has female knaves. The figure of the jack has been used in many literary works throughout history. Among these is one by 17th-century English writer Samuel Rowlands. Rimbault, upon the subject of playing cards. In accordance with a promise at the end of this book, Rowlands went on with his series of Knaves, and in wrote "The Knave of Harts: Haile Fellowe, Well Meet", where his "Supplication to Card-Makers" appears, [9] thought to have been written to the English manufacturers who copied to the English decks the court figures created by the French.

The cards shown here are from a Paris pattern deck where the rank is known as the "valet" , and include the historical and mythological names associated with them. The English pattern of the jacks can be seen in the photo at the top of the article. Together, they visit nightclubs and listen to Slim Gaillard and other jazz musicians. The stay ends on a sour note: "what I accomplished by coming to Frisco I don't know," and Sal departs, taking the bus back to New York. In the spring of , Sal takes a bus from New York to Denver. He is depressed and lonesome; none of his friends are around.

After receiving some money, he leaves Denver for San Francisco to see Dean. Camille is pregnant and unhappy, and Dean has injured his thumb trying to hit Marylou for sleeping with other men. Camille throws them out, and Sal invites Dean to come to New York, planning to travel further to Italy.

They meet Galatea, who tells Dean off: "You have absolutely no regard for anybody but yourself and your kicks. On the way to Sacramento they meet a "fag", who propositions them. Dean tries to hustle some money out of this but is turned down.

Hit the road Jack!

In Denver a brief argument shows the growing rift between the two, when Dean reminds Sal of his age, Sal being the older of the two. They get a Cadillac that needs to be brought to Chicago from a travel bureau. By bus they move on to Detroit and spend a night on Skid Row , Dean hoping to find his homeless father.

They go on partying in New York, where Dean meets Inez and gets her pregnant while his wife is expecting their second child. In the spring of , Sal gets the itch to travel again while Dean is working as a parking lot attendant in Manhattan, living with his girlfriend Inez. Sal notices that he has been reduced to simple pleasures—listening to basketball games and looking at erotic playing cards. By bus Sal takes to the road again, passing Washington, D. Louis , and eventually reaching Denver. There he meets Stan Shephard, and the two plan to go to Mexico City when they learn that Dean has bought a car and is on the way to join them.

In a rickety '37 Ford sedan the three set off across Texas to Laredo , where they cross the border. They are ecstatic, having left "everything behind us and entering a new and unknown phase of things. The landscape is magnificent. In Gregoria, they meet Victor, a local kid, who leads them to a bordello where they have their last grand party, dancing to mambo, drinking, and having fun with prostitutes.

In Mexico City Sal becomes ill from dysentery and is "delirious and unconscious. Dean, having obtained divorce papers in Mexico, had first returned to New York to marry Inez, only to leave her and go back to Camille.

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After his recovery from dysentery in Mexico, Sal returns to New York in the fall. He finds a girl, Laura, and plans to move with her to San Francisco. Sal writes to Dean about his plan to move to San Francisco. Dean writes back saying that he's willing to come and accompany Laura and Sal. Dean arrives over five weeks early, but Sal is out taking a late-night walk alone.

Sal returns home, sees a copy of Proust , and knows it is Dean's. Sal realizes his friend has arrived, but at a time when Sal doesn't have the money to relocate to San Francisco. On hearing this Dean makes the decision to head back to Camille. Sal's girlfriend Laura realizes this is a painful moment for Sal and prompts him for a response as the party drives off without Dean.

Sal replies: "He'll be alright". Sal later reflects as he sits on a river pier under a New Jersey night sky about the roads and lands of America that he has travelled and states: " Kerouac often based his fictional characters on friends and family. Because of the objections of my early publishers I was not allowed to use the same personae names in each work.

The book received a mixed reaction from the media in Some of the earlier reviews spoke highly of the book, but the backlash to these was swift and strong. Although this was discouraging to Kerouac, he still received great recognition and notoriety from the work. Since its publication, critical attention has focused on issues of both the context and the style, addressing the actions of the characters as well as the nature of Kerouac's prose. In his review for The New York Times , Gilbert Millstein wrote, "its publication is a historic occasion in so far as the exposure of an authentic work of art is of any great moment in an age in which the attention is fragmented and the sensibilities are blunted by the superlatives of fashion" and praised it as "a major novel.

Not only did he like the themes, but also the style, which would come to be just as hotly contested in the reviews that followed. They took their copy of the newspaper to a neighborhood bar and read the review over and over. As Joyce recalled: "Jack lay down obscure for the last time in his life.

The ringing phone woke him the next morning, and he was famous. The backlash began just a few days later in the same publication. David Dempsey published a review that contradicted most of what Millstein had promoted in the book. But it is a road, as far as the characters are concerned, that leads to nowhere. Other reviewers were also less than impressed. Phoebe Lou Adams in Atlantic Monthly wrote that it "disappoints because it constantly promises a revelation or a conclusion of real importance and general applicability, and cannot deliver any such conclusion because Dean is more convincing as an eccentric than as a representative of any segment of humanity.

Kerouac has to say about Dean has been told in the first third of the book, and what comes later is a series of variations on the same theme. The review from Time exhibited a similar sentiment. In this novel, talented Author Kerouac, 35, does not join that literary league, either, but at least suggests that his generation is not silent. With his barbaric yawp of a book, Kerouac commands attention as a kind of literary James Dean. While Kerouac sees his characters as "mad to live On the Road has been the object of critical study since its publication.

Whereas Millstein saw it as a story in which the heroes took pleasure in everything, George Mouratidis, an editor of a new edition, claimed "above all else, the story is about loss. Some of the racial sentimentality is appalling" but adds "the tale of passionate friendship and the search for revelation are timeless. These are as elusive and precious in our time as in Sal's, and will be when our grandchildren celebrate the book's hundredth anniversary.

To Brooks, this characterization seems limited. All cultural artifacts have to be interpreted through whatever experiences the Baby Boomer generation is going through at that moment. So a book formerly known for its youthful exuberance now becomes a gloomy middle-aged disillusion. The more reckless and youthful parts of the text that gave it its energy are the parts that have "run afoul of the new gentility, the rules laid down by the health experts, childcare experts, guidance counselors, safety advisers, admissions officers, virtuecrats and employers to regulate the lives of the young.

Mary Pannicia Carden feels that traveling was a way for the characters to assert their independence: they "attempt to replace the model of manhood dominant in capitalist America with a model rooted in foundational American ideals of conquest and self-discovery. Kerouac's writing style has attracted the attention of critics.

On the Road has been considered by Tim Hunt to be a transitional phase between the traditional narrative structure of The Town and the City and the "wild form" of his later books like Visions of Cody Matt Theado feels he endeavored to present a raw version of truth which did not lend itself to the traditional process of revision and rewriting but rather the emotionally charged practice of the spontaneity he pursued. Music is an important part of the scene that Kerouac sets in On the Road. Early in the book Pt. Critics say it's like "The Power of One" and I don't agree. Sure, there is mining involved, but that's a small part of this long saga.

There's some history in this novel, like the beginnings of Las Vegas with mobsters like Bugsy Siegel. Was this my favorite novel of his? It's a very long story, and I admit that the ending was a bit anticlimactic. I can see there could have been a sequel with this story, but sadly, this the end of the road for all of Bryce Courtney's characters. Sep 30, Kerri rated it it was amazing.

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One of my favourite things about a Bryce Courtenay novel is the way you typically follow a character through their entire life. There's something lovely about getting swept up in these sagas, sometimes spreading across several books. Jack of Diamonds was his final novel and that made for a somewhat bittersweet reading experience, especially once you reach the Epilogue and the Acknowledgements. This book follows Jack from his childhood in Canada, to Las Vegas and beyond.

I greatly enjoyed this st One of my favourite things about a Bryce Courtenay novel is the way you typically follow a character through their entire life. I greatly enjoyed this story of Jazz and poker. And though I still have several Bryce Courtenay books left to read, his note saying, 'It's been a privilege to write for you and to have you accept me as a storyteller in your lives', was beautiful and heartbreaking to read, and reminded me just how much I have appreciated his books over the years, and that it was just as much a privilege for me and countless others to read them, as it was for him to write them.

View all 3 comments. It seems like The Power Of One story line revisited in a Canadian setting with music replacing boxing. Feb 12, Jackie McCarthy rated it it was ok Shelves: contemporary-fiction. I remember reading "The Power of One" as a teenager, and it had a profound effect on me, leaving an indelible imprint of a harsh African vista and a powerful punch to the solar plexus. Boxing, boys, apartheid and the most wonderful and horrible characters. Who will ever forget the black prisoners standing up to the brutal prison guards, and the carnage that followed? I next delved head-first into "The Potato Factory", and was mesmerised once more by conniving characters and a protagonist who endured so much - and overcame it all - to our intense satisfaction.

So I will say that the faults of this book are mainly in the editing — a good editor would have done the tale justice. Alas, it was full of repetition and paragraphs ordered about the wrong way, and spoilers for the very chapter he was about to reveal to us. The other major fault I found with this book is that things were too easy for the protagonist Jack , and he was also a little arrogant.

Sorry to say, I only gave the book 2 stars.


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A sad way for a wonderful writer and human being to end his career and his legacy to publishing in Australia. I am honered to have chosen to read Mr. Courtenay's last book as my first of his, and I am looking forward to reading his other It was a long story, but a good one. It was well written and the characters all seemed very real.

I thought it dragged just a little in places, but I did not really mind. About piano bars and gambling, not to mention about Cabbagetown, near Toronto, in Quebec, Canada. I learned a little about Canada's in I am honered to have chosen to read Mr. This was a story about black and white values and black and white characters. It began and ended with love. Aug 24, Richard Mulholland rated it really liked it Shelves: historical , fiction.

Loved this, Courtenay really was a "damn fine story teller" found myself quite melancholy as I finished it. I'd recommend this to any Courtenay fan, the man fas a master right up to the end. Mar 31, Kathleen Hagen added it Shelves: audio. He passed away very soon after finishing it.

In this book he places his hero, Jack, in Toronto Canada. He has a father who is a drunk and beats his mother and him. Finally, with the help of the police chief, they rid the family of the father, who moves on to live with someone else. He leaves Canada and comes to the United States. He is convinced through an army buddy to come to Las Vegas and throw in his lot with a casino owner, Bridget Fuller.

But Jack has another addiction, poker playing, which ultimately throws him into terrible trouble with the mob. Bryce Courtenay has long had a place in my heart since he wrote one of my favourite books, The Power of One. I have been looking forward to the Jack of Diamonds for over a year now and while I purchased it upon it's release, I had difficulty actually starting it. Knowing it was Courtenay's final work, I found myself wanting to dela Bryce Courtenay has long had a place in my heart since he wrote one of my favourite books, The Power of One.

Knowing it was Courtenay's final work, I found myself wanting to delay reading it. Courtenay has often taken criticism for the length of his novels but that has never been a concern of mine. Courtenay was in rare form with Jack of Diamonds. A good portion of the book is set in Toronto during the 's and, being from the Toronto area, I found it really interesting to read about what this wonderful city was like almost one hundred years ago. Surprisingly, I found that I identified with the main character quite extensively.

He was a simple man that was gifted with one talent that carried him through his life and took him through a career filled with passion and independence. Coming from a similar background to mine made me identify with him even further. The experiences that this man went through for his musical passion were exciting, daring and filled with the love of the women around him.

Reading the final chapter had me in tears, knowing both what could have been for Jack and for Courtenay, if only he had survived to write the intended sequel to Jack of Diamonds. Oct 15, Tony Nielsen rated it really liked it.

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I had mixed feelings about Jack of Diamonds on two fronts. Firstly I knew it was Bryce Courtenay's 21st and final book, in fact he died before I got to start it. Secondly although I have read all of his novels and really liked many of them, of late I felt that they were getting a little on the "soppy" side, even condescending, dare I say it. By the time I was halfway through this one I was already marking it down as a 2 or 3 stars, but I then got drawn more into the story. Jack is a self depreca I had mixed feelings about Jack of Diamonds on two fronts. Jack is a self deprecating young man with a love of jazz, and a talent to mix it with the best of the idioms pianists.

He ends up in Las Vegas, as the heydays of the desert-town's transformation get under way. While he's appreciated by some, the local members of "the family" are not endeared towards him. Jack is also has another talent, as a very handy card sharp at the game of poker.

However his luck runs out in every sense and he is on the run, finding himself in the copper mines of Africa. I guess this will go down as the last in Bryce Courtenay's storytelling career, but I'm pleased to say he redeemed himself for me with a worthy tale to sign off on. Mar 10, Peter rated it liked it. Bryce Courtenay is a superb story teller but Jack of Diamonds was far too long.

The first pages covered Jack Spayd's upbringing and this could've been condensed into a punchy pages. The book actually gets interesting when Las Vegas and the Mafia are introduced and Courtenay cleverly blends the true life events regarding the building of the Flamingo, Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky into his story.

I read about 25 pages a night up until about half way I finished the last half in two nights Bryce Courtenay is a superb story teller but Jack of Diamonds was far too long. I finished the last half in two nights. That really sums up the novel Yes, there were similarities to The Power of One, but in my opinion that was the author's finest work and did not contain one boring page. Jack of Diamonds is okay but it's not in the same league as The Power of One. I have read all of John Grisham's novels and he will always be remembered for The Firm Oct 12, Steve rated it it was amazing Shelves: fiction.

This book is a coming of age story, and I could certainly see the similarities between it and the authors first book, The Power of One, and I found it fascinating to do so, since this book is his last; but that is not to say that it is a facsimile of his first book. The chapters were overly long, and some parts were quite hard to read, due to the author puling no punches about calling a spade a spade -- even in the case of domestic violence, but even weighing in at over pages, it didn't feel This book is a coming of age story, and I could certainly see the similarities between it and the authors first book, The Power of One, and I found it fascinating to do so, since this book is his last; but that is not to say that it is a facsimile of his first book.

The chapters were overly long, and some parts were quite hard to read, due to the author puling no punches about calling a spade a spade -- even in the case of domestic violence, but even weighing in at over pages, it didn't feel overly long. I was touched by the authors note at the end of the book, and how he had felt compelled to finish the main character's story even though he could not do what he wished and write a sequel.

I am looking forward to reading more of his work. My first Bryce Courtenay book. And I must say I wasn't disappointed. Through the various life decisions he makes to become a great Jazz pianist and more than useful poker player. Unfortunately he falls foul of the Mafia in Las Vegas and high tails it to Africa, where unfortunately he falls foul of the miners he works with. But it all ends well in London. A very entertaining book in which the master s My first Bryce Courtenay book. A very entertaining book in which the master storyteller really shows his skill. An enjoyable but very long story, I listened to it in the car and it took me some weeks to get through it.

It would be quicker if you read it yourself, but then I might have not bothered to finish it. Jack got a bit on my nerves in the end, he seemed too good to be true and too lucky. An audiobook. Aug 01, Katrina rated it really liked it. This book was a mammoth read!! I got a little over the story after Jack left Las Vegas I think it just got too long!

But overall I loved most of the story, particularly the jazz scene in the 30s and 40s and the development of Las Vegas as a casino city. The research really added a depth to this story that only Bryce Courtenay could achieve. His story telling will be sorely missed! Jan 23, Jilly Lind rated it liked it. None of Courtenays' books will ever quite compare to reading The power of one but because of The Power of One I always keep coming back for more.

I felt particularly sentimental about this book knowing this was his last. A good yarn with some lovable supporting characters. Bryce Courtenay you are an amazing writer and man you will be missed. View 1 comment. May 16, Jane Durbridge rated it liked it.

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